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Prev Med. 2013 Nov;57(5):690-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.028. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Young adult former ever smokers: the role of type of smoker, quit attempts, quit aids, attitudes/beliefs, and demographics.

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Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1120 NW 14th Street, 15th Floor C202, Miami, FL 33136, USA. Electronic address:



Young adults who smoke are often nondaily users who either quit or transition into dependent smokers. Further, this age group often has been considered an extension of the adult population. This study aims to examine young adult former ever smokers to understand factors associated with their stopping smoking.


Telephone interviews were conducted in 2010 with 4401 young adults in Florida. We examined the association between former ever smokers and sociodemographics, smoking behavior, quit attempts, quit aids, and attitudes/beliefs about smoking.


Thirty-seven percent of young adults were former smokers, 20% were current smokers, and 43% were never smokers. Former smokers were more likely to be female, situational smokers (compared to occasional or established), more likely to have stopped smoking without acknowledging making a quit attempt, less likely to have used a quit aid, and less likely to display pro-tobacco attitudes/beliefs.


Young adult former and current smokers have unique patterns of smoking and stopping smoking. Young adults may require novel intervention techniques to promote prevention and cessation based on these unique smoking patterns. Future research is needed to understand motivations to quit smoking among young adults.


Smoking; Tobacco use cessation; Young adults

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